INDIANAPOLIS - Abdi Abdirahman used a front running approach to win his first USA championship title at the USA Men's 10 Mile Championship in a championship record time of 47:27.
Sunny skies and 48 degrees made for ideal conditions as the fifth annual Papa John's 10 Miler got underway with a field of 5000 runners. This was the third year that the event hosted the USA Men's 10 Mile Championship.
After a 4:39 first mile, Abdirahman jumped out to a small lead. He was quickly rejoined by a contingent of championship hopefuls that included Brian Sell, Chris Graff, 2003 USA 10 Mile Champion and Matt Lane.
After another push just past two miles, Abdirahman and Sell had broken away from the field and with a little more pressure, Abdirahman was ten meters up on Sell. As he made his way through the hills of Iroquois Park, Abdirahman's lead fluctuated from ten to 30 meters as Sell made every effort to rejoin him.
By the time Abdirahman exited the park at six miles, a string of steady 4:48 miles put him comfortably in the lead, 50 meters up on Sell. "If someone was going to beat me they were going to run hard," Abdirahman said of his race strategy. "I didn't want it to come down to a kick so I pushed it from three to six miles."
As Abdirahman more or less cruised to victory, Sell was left on his own as he ran to a second place finish ten seconds back in 47:37. Graff made a late race push to finish third ahead of perpetual 4th place finisher Matt Lane, 48:09 to 48:13.
The Papa John's 10 Miler/USA Men's 10 Mile Championship was the fourth race on the 2005 USA Running Circuit (USARC) and paid a total of $26,500 in prize money, with Abdirahman earning $10,000. Abdirahman now leads the circuit standings with 33 points. Matt Lane is in second with 23 points and Ryan Shay is in third with 22 points.
The USARC, a USA Track & Field road series, features USA Championships from 5 km to the marathon and attracts the best U.S. distance runners, including several Olympians. The eleventh edition for the men and tenth for the women, the 2005 circuit has nine events for men and eight events for women.
The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USARC race (15 for first, 12 for second, 10 for third, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1), with a final $12,500 grand prix purse ($6000, $4000, and $2500) for the top three men and women point scorers overall. The USARC points at the USA Marathon Championships will be doubled.
The mission of the USA Running Circuit is to showcase, support, and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USARC and its races have provided over $4 million dollars to U.S. distance runners.For more information on the 2005 USARC and USA Men's 10 Mile Championship visit www.usatf.org.